by Charles Culbertson
Staunton News Leader, December 9, 2010
For some years, now, the American Shakespeare Center's December season has centered mostly on two productions: "The Santaland Diaries" and "A Christmas Carol." While these now-standard works are again offered at the Blackfriars Playhouse, a third seasonally themed play has been added to the mix, and it's a world premiere, to boot.
Twelve Dates" is the story of Mary, an actress in New York, who catches her fiancé lip-locking with his co-worker on national television at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Mary chucks her engagement ring into a Salvation Army kettle and spends the next year's worth of holidays erratically, but often hilariously, pursuing one inadequate relationship after another.
Hoben, who is a veteran of the Blackfriars and many other stages, has a talent for storytelling and fully exploits it in this romantic comedy that's loosely based on her own experiences. The vignettes and commentary never lag or fail to entertain. But more than that, the play rises far beyond a random collection of events; the incidents hang together as a complete and coherent work that has a smooth, easy but distinct forward motion.
For best seats order THE TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS tickets now.
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